Minecraft beta cracks 4 million

Mojang's world builder converts one-quarter of its registered users into paid miners, testing phase ends next week.

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Minecraft has long been a success story for indie games. Even though the game is still officially in beta, it recently crossed another sales milestone that many bigger titles would be happy to reach.

Minecraft's paying denizens number 4 million.
Minecraft's paying denizens number 4 million.

Mojang lead Marcus "Notch" Persson, shared via Twitter yesterday that the block-based adventure game has sold more than 4 million copies. This achievement hits just 10 months after the game crossed the 1 million sold mark in January.

Over 16 million people have registered Minecraft accounts. Minecraft can be played for free, but premium customers gain access to many more features of the game, including the Survival mode, crafting, mobs, and the inventory.

The first Minecraft-centric convention, called MineCon, will take place next week, and along with it will come the long-awaited release of Minecraft 1.0. This will bring the game out of beta, but Notch promises regular updates will continue following the game's official launch. The convention will also serve as a coming-out for the Xbox 360 version of the game, which is due for release in early 2012.

An open-ended game, Minecraft allows players to explore vast 3D environments rendered with a blocky aesthetic, harvesting resources to craft into various tools and materials as they go. In addition to reshaping the world to their whim, players must build their own shelters so as not to fall prey to wandering monsters at night.

For more on Minecraft, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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